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9 Making Light Work for You > The Elements of Light

The Elements of Light

Unless you’re extraordinarily lucky, or supremely observant, great lighting, like most things of artistic value, doesn’t happen by accident. It’s entirely possible that you’ll randomly encounter a scene or subject that’s bathed in marvelous lighting, illumination that perfectly sculpts an image in highlights and shadows. That’s what happened when I encountered the stark geometric shapes of the fountain in the infrared shot shown in Figure 9.1. All I really needed to do was walk around the fountain until I found the best angle. The light was already there; I just needed to be lucky enough to encounter and recognize it.

But how often can you count on such luck? Ansel Adams, producer Samuel Goldwyn, and golfer Gary Player have all been credited with originating the phrase, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” If you work at learning what light can do, and how to use it, you’ll find yourself becoming luckier too.


  

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